The crypto community was thrown into a frenzy in April when the Central African Republic announced that it had become the second country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender, after El Salvador last year.
The country followed up that impressive trajectory in July when it rolled out plans for Sango Coin, a sort of national coin for the country. A launch that earned the country the ire of bitcoin maxis and international financial bodies like the IMF.
However, on Monday, news came out that President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s lofty plans for the Sango Coin are being threatened by a constitutional court’s ruling. In some other news, the United States Justice Department is reportedly investigating Binance and Changpeng Zhao for possible money laundering crimes. Similarly, regulators in Singapore are now tightening their grip over crypto trading activities in the country.
Now, a bit of detail on these and many more stories from around the world this week.
Here we go:
Singapore plans tougher crypto regulations
In a seminar on Monday, the chief of Singapore’s central bank said that the country is considering new measures to make crypto trading even more difficult for retail investors. Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said:
“Adding frictions on retail access to cryptocurrencies is an area we are contemplating. These may include customer suitability tests and restricting the use of leverage and credit facilities for cryptocurrency trading.”
He further noted that retail investors have been “irrationally oblivious” about the risks associated with crypto trading. Earlier this year in January, the MAS issued guidelines to limit crypto trading service providers from promoting their services to the public. This was a move to shield retail investors from the volatility in the crypto space.
In July, MAS chief, Ravi Menon also said that they have been working on a regulatory framework. This framework will address “consumer protection, market conduct, and reserve backing for stablecoins”.
CAR court says Sango Coin purchase cannot grant citizenship
A court in the Central African Republic has ruled that the Touadéra government’s offer of land and citizenship to buyers of the sango coin is unconstitutional, Technext reports.
The court said the sango-coin-for-citizenship scheme must be stopped because the country’s “nationality has no market value” and the government’s offer of land and access to minerals such as gold to sango coin buyers is unconstitutional.
Reacting to the ruling, a spokesman for the CAR presidency, Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, reportedly said the government will now look for other ways of rewarding sango coin holders with land and citizenship. He said:
“We respect the court’s decision and we’re now looking at another way to offer land and citizenship to investors.”
The United States investigated Binance for money laundering
The United States Justice Department reportedly investigated the world’s largest exchange Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ), for possible money laundering crimes, according to a Reuters report yesterday.
Reuters noted that the federal prosecutors had requested internal documents related to Binance money laundering checks. According to four people familiar with the matter, the request was part of an investigation into Binance’s compliance with the United States financial crime laws.
Per the sources, the authorities are looking into whether Binance violated the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires all crypto trading platforms operating in the U.S. to comply with compulsory anti-money laundering laws and also register with the Treasury Department.
Patrick Hillmann, Chief Communications Officer at Binance, told Reuters in response to questions about the letter:
“Regulators across the globe are reaching out to every major crypto exchange to better understand our industry. This is a standard process for any regulated organization and we work with agencies regularly to address any questions they may have.”
Binance has been under widespread regulatory scrutiny across various parts of the world, including the United States. Last year, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched an investigation into Binance’s operations for possible insider trading.
Babylon Finance stops operation
Ramon Recuero, the founder of Babylon Finance disclosed the company’s decision to shutter its operations on Wednesday. Babylon is an Ethereum (ETH)-based protocol that allows users to create investment communities called gardens and offers yield earnings.
Recuero revealed that the asset management protocol would finally be shutting down in November of this year. In a Medium article, Recuero noted some actions the Babylon team will be taking before the eventual closure. The team would be distributing all the leftover treasury holdings to BABL and its holders.
The distribution process will begin on September 6. Furthermore, investors will have their tokens returned to them. The team will also be pulling out all the remaining liquidity from Uniswap.
Additionally, the team has given all strategists until November 15 to close their strategies. According to the article, the Babylon Finance website and Discord channel will shut down on that day.
Recall that Babylon Finance lost over $3m in the Rari Hack (which happened on April 20) which saw over $80m stolen. The hack cost Babylon Finance over $3M, with Rari cancelling its planned compensation to affected users. This was the start of Babylon Finance’s woes.
Following the hack, Babylon Finance clients made a mass withdrawal of their assets from the protocol. This was due to the panic brewing. The native token of the platform also crashed by over 70%.
“Despite our efforts, we haven’t been able to revert the negative momentum caused by the Rari hack,” Recuero said.
Meta extends NFT integration to Facebook
According to a statement from Meta on Monday, Facebook users can now connect their crypto wallets to the platform and share their NFTs. The social media giant stated that Facebook users will now be able to connect digital wallets to share their NFTs on the platform.
Recall that Meta had previously declared that it would expand its Instagram NFT integration pilot to 100 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and both North and South America. Although the announcement did not clarify which blockchains and wallets would be supported, Facebook’s NFT integration will likely be the same as Instagram’s.
Meta did not indicate whether the Facebook integration would be a pilot program or if it would have the same reach as the Instagram program.
It also did not indicate whether Europe would be added to the list of supported continents and whether other major NFT blockchains, such as Solana, were planned for integration.
Here is all from us for this week. See you next week!
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